Freeman’s December 7 American Art & Pennsylvania Impressionists auction will offer a range of works by American painters N.C. Wyeth, William Lamb Picknell, and Theresa Bernstein, as well as paintings by New Hope School artists Fern Isabel Coppedge, Daniel Garber, Edward Willis Redfield, and George William Sotter, among others. Two highlights are “Up Jericho” and “The River Road” by Daniel Garber. Both are estimated at $150,000-250,000 and in their original frames by Frederick Harer and Bernard Badura, respectively.
Known for his use of color, Daniel Garber’s appealing depictions of Bucks County earned him national attention and accolades. While his vibrant palette was rightly celebrated, Garber’s greatest success as an artist was perhaps the interweaving of two seemingly opposite and distinct directions in American art—Impressionism and Modernism. At the time of New York’s Armory Show in 1913, Garber and the New Hope School had been awarded numerous medals within mainstream circles—including the National Academy— and artist and critic Guy Pène du Bois cited the work of the New Hope School as the first “truly national” art emerging during that era. Though located outside New York and painting landscapes, Garber defensively referred to his work as modern. While New York Modernism was wary of the popular and beautiful (words most likely used to describe Garber’s work), modern elements are found in Garber’s paintings including the flattening of the picture plane and his bending of the landscape to meet his intended color and composition. “Up Jericho” and “The River Road” are two fine examples that illustrate Garber’s ability to produce modern works with mass appeal.
Painted in 1930 and consigned from a Princeton estate, “Up Jericho” represents the culmination of Garber’s work in the 1920's. In this painting, he lets his horizon line creep upward until just a bit of sky remained, creating a “stacked composition,” a stylistic theme of his with roots dating back as early as 1908 but maturing in the 1920’s. The painting is an illustration of Garber’s stylistic distance from 19th century American landscapes—his were informed by ideas of the twentieth-century, with broad swathes of color and a stitching of diffuse elements into a cohesive whole.
“The River Road” was executed around 1940; the beginning of a decade that might be described as Garber’s “victory lap.” He had two retrospectives of his work and several solo exhibitions over the course of the decade. His art had been popular for decades, and at this time, “The River Road” was found so inviting that it was used as an advertisement for the Pennsylvania Department of Commerce.
Additional highlights featured in the upcoming auction include an early winter landscape by Edward Willis Redfield ($50,000-80,000) and “The Hill Road, Winter” ($100,000-150,000) by George William Sotter. Displayed in a Bernard Badura frame, it is the largest snowy nocturne scene by Sotter to come to auction in at least the last thirty years. Freeman’s will also offer a collection of works by Theresa Bernstein from an estate. The Woodmere Art Museum is currently exhibiting the first retrospective of Bernstein’s work through October.
Notable Lots in the December 7 American Art & Pennsylvania Impressionists auction:
DANIEL GARBER (AMERICAN 1880-1958) "UP JERICHO" Signed 'Daniel Garber' bottom right, oil on canvas 22 x 18 in. (55.9 x 45.7cm) In a Harer frame with incised signature 'HARER' $150,000-250,000
DANIEL GARBER (AMERICAN 1880-1958) "THE RIVER ROAD" Signed 'Daniel Garber' bottom left, oil on canvas 30 x 28 in. (76.2 x 71.1cm) In a Bernard Badura frame incised 'BB New Hope, PA' $150,000-250,000
N.C. WYETH (AMERICAN 1882-1945) “I STOOD LIKE ONE THUNDERSTRUCK, OR AS I HAD SEEN AN APPARITION” Signed ‘N.C. Wyeth’ bottom right, oil on canvas 40.50 x 30 in. (102.87cm x 76.20cm) $150,000-250,000
N.C. WYETH (AMERICAN 1882-1945) "AND NO SOONER HAD HE THE ARMS IN HIS HANDS..." Signed ‘N.C. Wyeth’ lower left, oil on canvas 40 1/2 x 30 in. (102.9 x 76.2cm) $120,000-180,000
GEORGE WILLIAM SOTTER (AMERICAN 1879-1953) "THE HILL ROAD, WINTER" Signed 'G W Sotter' lower right, oil on canvas 36 x 40 in. (91.4 x 101.6cm) In a Bernard Badura frame, with frame incised 'B Badura New Hope, PA' $100,000-150,000
EDWARD WILLIS REDFIELD (AMERICAN 1869-1965) WINTER BROOK LANDSCAPE Signed 'E W Redfield,’ oil on canvas 22 x 30 in. (55.9 x 76.2cm) $50,000-80,000
GEORGE WILLIAM SOTTER (AMERICAN 1879-1953) BARN ON A WINTER NIGHT Inscribed bottom right, oil on board 13 3/8 x 16 in. (34.2 x 40.6cm) PROVENANCE: Private Collection, Pennsylvania. $40,000-60,000
FERN ISABEL COPPEDGE (AMERICAN 1888-1951) LUMBERVILLE Signed 'Fern I. Coppedge' bottom right, oil on canvas 14 x 16 in. (35.6 x 40.6cm) $25,000-40,000
KENNETH R. NUNAMAKER (AMERICAN 1890-1957) CENTER BRIDGE, PENNSYLVANIA Signed 'K R Nunamaker' bottom right, oil on canvas 22 x 24 in. (55.9 x 61cm) $25,000-40,000
WILLIAM LAMB PICKNELL (AMERICAN 1853-1897) MOUNTAN LANDSCAPE WITH COACH Signed 'W. L. Picknell' bottom left, oil on canvas 24 x 36 in. (61 x 91.4cm) $25,000-40,000 WALTER ELMER SCHOFIELD (AMERICAN 1867-1944) "HILLSIDE FARM, CORNWALL" Signed 'Schofield' bottom left, oil on canvas 25 3/4 x 29 7/8 in. (65.4 x 76cm) $20,000-30,000
The American Art & Pennsylvania Impressionist auction preview will take place at 1808 Chestnut Street, with viewing times as follows: December 3-5, 2014: 10am-5pm December 6, 2014: 12pm-5pm December 7, 2014: Limited viewing prior to the auction